Healthy Recipe, Sesame Chicken Meatballs

Tahini, that rich-tasting paste of ground sesame seeds mostly associated with hummus, is blended with soy sauce and a few other Asian staples you very well might already have in your pantry or fridge. A package of ground chicken, a head of broccoli, and a splash of olive oil are the only other essentials. If you’re watching your carbs, you could replace the rice with Asian bean thread noodles, quinoa, or any whole grain. Or skip the starch altogether. Serves 4. — Susan Puckett, Adapted from “I Dream of Dinner (So You Don’t Have To)” by Ali Slagle (Potter, $29.99). Ingredients 1 cup long-grain white or brown rice (or grain or noodle of your choice – or skip the starch) Spicy Tahini Sauce:
½ cup tahini
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon sambal oelek, sriracha, or other chile-garlic sauce (plus more on the side, if desired)
1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
1 lime
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon honey or sugar Broccoli and Chicken Meatballs:
1 pound broccoli (about 1 large head), or a 12-ounce bag of florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound ground chicken
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (plus more on the side, if desired)
¼ cup of the reserved Spicy Tahini Sauce Instructions
Prepare the rice (or other grain or noodles) according to package directions.
Make the Spicy Tahini Sauce: In a large measuring cup, combine the tahini, soy sauce, sesame oil, sambal oelek, ginger, and lime zest. Stir with a fork to blend. Remove ¼ cup of the sauce to a small bowl for the meatball mixture and set aside.
Squeeze the lime (you should have about 2 tablespoons) and blend it into the remaining sauce in the measuring cup, along with the water and honey or sugar, and set it aside as well.
Prepare the Broccoli: Place an oven rack about 5 inches from the heat source and heat the broiler to high. Peel the stalks of the broccoli (if using a whole head) and slice them crosswise ¼-inch thick. Cut the florets in bite-size pieces. Toss on a large sheet pan with the olive oil, season to taste with salt and pepper, and spread out in a single layer.
Prepare the Chicken Meatballs: In a medium bowl, combine the ground chicken, sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and the ¼ cup of Spicy Tahini Sauce. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
With wet hands, roll 2 tablespoons (about 1 ½ ounces) of meat at a time into meatballs and drop them in between the broccoli pieces.
Place the sheet pan under the broiler and broil until the meatballs are golden and cooked through (165 degrees on a meat thermometer) and the broccoli is crisp-tender and browned in spots, 8 to 12 minutes. Check about halfway through and rotate the pan or flip the broccoli if needed so that it cooks evenly.
Serve the meatballs and broccoli with the rice and drizzle with the some of the remaining Spicy Tahini Sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and season with more chile-garlic sauce if desired. Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.

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